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Re: [Synoptic-L] Aphorism

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  • David Mealand
    (A4). It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke in a letter of the law to be dropped. Bruce (or at least my extract from his posting)
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 5, 2012
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      (A4). It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away
      than for one stroke in a letter of the law to be dropped.

      Bruce (or at least my extract from his posting)
      ...Matthew is then a Torah Reactionary...

      David
      The version of the saying under discussion
      was the one found in Luke, and the issue what
      it might have been before Matthew phrased his
      version as he did.

      David M.



      ---------
      David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


      --
      The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
      Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Synoptic / GPG In Response To: David Mealand On: Legalism From: Bruce David had recapitulated a bit of my previous note to Ron, and then added his own
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 5, 2012
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        To: Synoptic / GPG
        In Response To: David Mealand
        On: Legalism
        From: Bruce

        David had recapitulated a bit of my previous note to Ron, and then added his
        own comment. Here is the entire group, beginning with my quote of Ron's
        saying A4:

        (A4). It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke in
        a letter of the law to be dropped.

        Bruce (or at least [David's] extract from [that] posting) ...Matthew is then
        a Torah Reactionary...

        David: The version of the saying under discussion was the one found in Luke,
        and the issue what it might have been before Matthew phrased his version as
        he did.

        Bruce (now): I think the issue is the directionality. Is Luke B taking on a
        Matthean saying, or is Matthew incorporating a Lukan A one?

        Matthew's Sermon on the Mount is at its core a transfer (and
        middle-classification) of Luke's Sermon on the Plain, Beatitudes and all
        (though not the Woes), and so my default presumption is that the other bits
        of the Matthean Sermon which have parallels in Luke were all scrounged by
        Matthew from Lukan A originals. But the default presumption is not always
        the final conclusion, and I think the present case is a good example.

        On the Matthean side, we have a continuous exposition, from Mt 5:17 (our
        passage) to 5:48 inclusive, showing how one must exceed the conventional
        law: not only love your neighbor, but love even your enemy (this detail is
        indeed from Luke). The theme of this whole section of the Matthean Sermon is
        given at the end of the 5:17-20 passage (no Lukan parallel): "Unless your
        righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never
        enter the Kingdom of Heaven." This is what I call "extreme legalism." There
        is here no question of a Lukan or other outside original.

        On the Lukan side, we have three sayings which come from nonconsecutive
        places in Mt:

        Lk 16:16. Law and prophets were until John ( ~ Mt 11:12-13)
        Lk 16:17. Easier for Heaven/Earth to pass away ( ~ Mt 5:18, SM)
        Lk 16:18. Against divorce ( ~ Mt 5:32, SM)

        M Goulder (2/629-632) argues for Lukan secondarity, as of course he would.
        He makes some perhaps useful points about Luke cleaning up Matthew's
        diction. The meaning of "violently" in Lk 16:16 has exercised the
        commentators greatly; I can't solve it either. But on the larger scale, I
        think MG misses, or rather gets wrong, the most impressive bit of evidence
        for Lukan secondarity of all three of these short passages, which is that as
        a group they interrupt a very consecutive sequence in Luke, on the theme of
        contempt for worldly riches and concern for heavenly riches. Thus:

        Lk 16:1-13. The Canny Steward (give away money)
        Lk 16:14-15. The money-loving of the Pharisees is an abomination in the
        sight of God
        - - - -
        16:19-31. Dives and Lazarus (the rich will go to hell)

        I have put in a little dotted line where the three verses under discussion
        go. I think it is obvious that the main sweep of Lk 16 is on the riches
        theme, and that the three verses now coming between the Avaricious Pharisees
        and the Condemned Rich Man are thematically (and given their brevity, also
        formally) intrusive.

        Then the implied order is here Mt > Lk for all three. If the Lukan saying on
        the tittles of the Law is milder than the Matthean thundering on the same
        subject (and thus perhaps more attractive for a modern florilegium), it is
        still a Matthean theme, which Luke A as a whole did not share, and which in
        Luke B is formally intrusive. It represents Luke B moving toward the
        Matthean position, as he does at many other places also, not least the
        Gentile Mission (where again, its introduction causes formal and thematic
        inconsecutivity in the final Luke).

        We can't really get next to the Sermon on the Mount until we can distinguish
        its borrowed and transfigured Lukan A elements from its firm and confident
        and portly Matthean additions. There may be a presentation on this subject
        at SBL in November; time will tell.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • David Mealand
        Bruce (now): I think the issue is the directionality. Is Luke B taking on a Matthean saying, or is Matthew incorporating a Lukan A one? Reply Well to focus on
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 6, 2012
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          Bruce (now): I think the issue is the directionality.
          Is Luke B taking on a Matthean saying, or is Matthew
          incorporating a Lukan A one?

          Reply
          Well to focus on just this and not the other 650 words
          in the response:

          You think that Mark included this in his text first
          \O OURANOS KAI \H GH PARELEUSONTAI \OI DE LOGOI MOU
          OU MH PARELEUSONTAI

          (Matthew and Luke both presumably know that, as they both
          include it with minimal changes.)

          Then your assertion is that either one, or the other,
          of these writers _created_ either the version of the aphorism
          that we find in Luke (the one under discussion), _ or_ the
          one found in Matthew, (which are differently formulated),
          and you consider the latter more likely.

          Have I understood you correctly?

          I am not demanding what I am told is the brevity some
          tea party or other specifies, but I would appreciate
          the focus being on the aphorism.

          David M.




          ---------
          David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


          --
          The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
          Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
        • E Bruce Brooks
          To: Synoptic In Response To: David Mealand On: Directionality From: Bruce ... Bruce (earlier): I think the issue is the directionality. Is Luke B taking on a
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 6, 2012
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            To: Synoptic
            In Response To: David Mealand
            On: Directionality
            From: Bruce

            David had set up the problem of the "shall not pass away" saying this way:

            ------------

            Bruce (earlier): I think the issue is the directionality. Is Luke B taking
            on a Matthean saying, or is Matthew incorporating a Lukan A one?

            David: You think that Mark included this in his text first
            \O OURANOS KAI \H GH PARELEUSONTAI \OI DE LOGOI MOU OU MH PARELEUSONTAI
            (Matthew and Luke both presumably know that, as they both include it with
            minimal changes.)

            Then your assertion is that either one, or the other, of these writers
            _created_ either the version of the aphorism that we find in Luke (the one
            under discussion), _ or_ the one found in Matthew, (which are differently
            formulated), and you consider the latter more likely.

            Have I understood you correctly?

            Bruce: Yes, except that I would not call the Tittle saying a version; I
            would call it a derivative. Jesus's word in Mk 13, coming at the end of a
            vivid description of the Last Days, has its context here: [13:30] "Truly I
            say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take
            place. [31] Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass
            away."

            This promises two things: (1) The End Days will occur within the present
            generation, and some now living will see it, and (2) Despite the end of all
            other things, Jesus's word (his promise as to the survival of the elect)
            will not pass away, but will hold firm. There is nothing in this about the
            Law.

            Mt 5:17, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the End Days, it has to
            do with the permanence of the Law (right to the end of the End Days. The
            same can be said of the briefer but similar Lk 16:17. One of the two has
            then taken a guarantee about Jesus's promise to the faithful, whose
            permanence he guarantees, and borrowed a sonorous phrase from it to make a
            saying about the permanence of the Law.

            Of Mt and Lk, which one did this borrowing and adaptation? We can look at
            two kinds of evidence: (1) the characteristic emphases of Matthew and Luke,
            for which see my previous post, or (2) the structure of the respective
            sayings in context, which I venture to repeat. The point here is that Lk
            16:7 and its two neighbors, all with counterparts in Mt, are as a group
            intrusive into a series of poverty pronouncements and parables in Lk. Notice
            that Lk 16:14-15, criticizing the avarice of the Pharisees, segues very
            smoothly into Lk 16:19-31, the Dives and Lazarus parable, which illustrates
            it by showing that it is poverty, not wealth, which goes to Heaven. Then Lk
            16:17 and its neighbors are later introductions into Lk 16, while Mt 5:17,
            which is perfectly consecutive in its Matthean context, is original.

            This makes it a Matthean creation, based on a phrase picked up from Mark and
            used to quite a different end.

            Bruce

            E Bruce Brooks
            University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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